Possible Savoy school might be built in new location
SAVOY – If the Champaign school district builds a new school in Savoy, it could be at a different location than the one proposed last year as part of its building plans.
Developer Randy Peifer is considering offering 15 acres along First Street, south of Church Street, for a school.
Peifer donated 6 acres at the corner of Prairie Rose Lane and Buttercup Drive, in the Prairie Fields subdivision, to the school district, with the understanding it would build a school there. There was never a written agreement on the date by which that was to happen.
"They've said in the last three to four years the window of opportunity for a benefit for them is quickly closing as they build out," the subdivision, said Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton. "They've looked at that and said they can build some homes here and finish that corner pretty quickly."
Helton said the new site, which is called the Weidemier site, is along the west side of First Street, about a half mile south of Church Street. It would be bordered by two new subdivisions – Prairie Meadows to the west and Lake Falls to the south.
Champaign school Superintendent Arthur Culver said the district hasn't seen all the details of the proposed new site but, "I'm just thrilled that it's still something the developer wants to do, that the developer still sees the importance and the need to set aside a school site."
"I think it's inevitable at some point we'll have to put a school there," he continued. "The question is when, but based on the growth, we're going have to do it."
He acknowledged some residents might have concerns, because the village has invested money in infrastructure surrounding the Prairie Fields site and because some people may have bought homes near the site on the assumption a school would be built there.
He said Savoy residents and village officials should comment on which site they prefer.
Helton said the Savoy Planning Commission will discuss the possibility of a school at the new site, at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Savoy Municipal Center, 611 N. Dunlap.
"This is very preliminary at this point, just a discussion point," Helton said. "A lot depends on what kind of reaction we see from the school (district)," as well as the benefits or disadvantages identified by village officials.
A representative of the school district is scheduled to be at the meeting.